Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

We'd like to wish all our alumni, our current candidates, our friends and colleagues a wonderful Thanksgiving. We are thankful for the good agricultural and food law work that you do - improving and supporting our food system one client, case, memo at a time.

Our diverse alumni are working in 38 states and 19 different countries, and we are particularly thankful that they carry our reputation for excellence worldwide.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

USDA Associate Counsel David Grahn Returns to Teach


Agricultural Policy & the Federal Budget with David Grahn


This week we were joined by USDA Associate General Counsel, David Grahn. David joins us each fall to teach a condensed course titled Agricultural Policy & the Federal Budget.

The course explores the impact of the Office of Management and Budget and the cost scoring system on policy making. David delivers a fast paced and real world explanation of how things work inside the Beltway, how budgetary rules often drive policy decisions, and how policymakers need to understand the process in order to advance their causes.

David is a special friend of the Program, and teaches this course on his own time - and not in his official capacity at the USDA. He brings a wealth of policy experience and inside-Washington expertise to the task.

David serves at the USDA Office of General Counsel as Associate General Counsel for International Affairs, Food Assistance, and Farm and Rural Programs. He represents the interests of a wide range of USDA entities: Farm Service Agency, Risk Management Agency / Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, Rural Development Agency, Rural Business Service, Rural Utilities Service, Foreign Agricultural Service, the Food and Nutrition Service, and the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion.



Thursday, November 17, 2016

Food Law & Policy in the Trump Era: Call for Papers

The information below is posted on behalf of the Journal of Food Law & Policy at the University of Arkansas School of Law. 


Interest in food law and policy grew rapidly during the Obama administration. An emboldened food movement increasingly challenged corporate food and agricultural interests, while many academics, policymakers, and consumers began to promote food system reform as an attractive route to broader societal change. Writing about the future of food politics, Michael Pollan recently noted, “the culture of food is shifting underfoot.”

With the election of Donald Trump, however, agribusiness appears to be ascendant again. His transition team has made the concerns of large-scale agriculture paramount, promising to weaken or eliminate regulations throughout the food chain. Trump’s election has also highlighted the increasing political divide between rural and urban America. Once the wellspring of radical politics in the United States, rural America—and its farmers—are now among the most conservative segments of American society.

The Journal of Food Law and Policy invites essays examining food law and policy in the Trump era. Essays should provide analysis and commentary rather than research results and may be on a variety of topics, including the environmental regulation of agriculture, labor, food justice, anti-trust law, rural America, and animal welfare, among others. We welcome submissions from academics from all disciplines, as well as practitioners, policymakers, and advocates.

Interested individuals should submit proposals with an abstract of 100 to 250 words, a short bio, and their contact information to foodlaw@uark.edu by December 15th. Final manuscripts will be due on February 1st and should be no longer than 2,500 words.




Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Nicole Cook featured on Good Food Jobs

Recent LL.M. Candidate Nicole Cook is featured this week on Good Food Jobs, a website "designed to link people in search of meaningful food work with the businesses that need their energy, enthusiasm, and intellect". Nicole is also featured on the sites companion blog the gastrognomes where she talks about her current position as Senior Advisor to the Administrator for the Risk Management Agency in the Office of the Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services. 



Friday, November 11, 2016

Animal Law Attorney Pamela Vesilind visits LL.M. Program

LL.M. Alumna and Adjunct Professor Pamela Vesilind visits LL.M. Program 
























Pamela Vesilind, graduate of Vermont Law School and an Alumna of our own LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law joined the LL.M. Program today to lead a discussion on Animal Welfare and Farmed Animals Raised for Food in a segment for Professor Schneider's Food Farming & Sustainability course. Pamela is a recognized Scholar in Animal Law and is an Adjunct Instructor at Vermont Law School and the LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law at the University of Arkansas School of Law. Pamela now practices Animal Law in North Carolina.



Sunday, November 6, 2016

National Food Law Student Leadership Summit

This year, we have been delighted to have Kelly Nuchols with us as a full time face-to-face LL.M. candidate.  Kelly's participation in the LL.M. Program is sponsored by the Drake Agricultural Law Center led by Professor Neil Hamilton. Kelly worked closely with Professor Hamilton and Harvard's Emily Broad Leib in the planning and hosting of the Food Law Leadership Summit held this year at Drake University Law School in October. Arkansas professors Susan Schneider and Nate Rosenberg were delighted to participate in the Summit. We asked Kelly to describe the Summit in a blog post for us -


From LL.M. Candidate Kelly Nuchols:

In October, 80 law students from at least 46 different law schools gathered in Des Moines, Iowa for the second Food Law Student Leadership Summit. The Summit was co-hosted by the Drake Agricultural Law Center, the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC), and the Food Law Student Network Leadership Committee.

Summit organizers, Emily Broad Leib and Neil Hamilton
The Summit host team included some familiar faces to the Arkansas LL.M. program, including LL.M. candidate and soon-to-be-alumna Christina Rice who is serving as a Clinic Fellow at FLPC, visiting professor Neil Hamilton, who serves as the Director of Drake’s Agricultural Law Center, and Jennifer Zwagerman, an LL.M. alumna who serves the Drake Law School's Director of Career Development and the Associate Director of the Agricultural Law Center.  The Summit would not have been possible without the hard work of the FLPC team of Emily Broad Leib, Emma Clippinger, Lee Miller, and Christina, and the Drake team of Neil, Matt Russell, and Jennifer.

Students, organizers, and professors enjoy the Des Moines Farmers Market
As a Drake Law alumna and former FLPC intern, it was an honor to welcome everyone to Drake Law School for the summit. The Des Moines setting gave students a taste of Iowa agriculture with visits to both the Jackson Family Farm and the Des Moines Downtown Farmers’ Market. The students also toured a family owned artisan cured meat company, La Quercia. I am thankful I was able to share the learning opportunities I had in Iowa, and at Drake and FLPC, with the students who attended this year’s summit.

 Susan Schneider and Arkansas Law Visiting Professor Nate Rosenberg were two of the professors who taught a food law seminar at this year’s Summit.
Susan Schneider presents on the legal aspects of food names
At last year’s Food Law Student Leadership Summit at Harvard Law School, I realized how important this opportunity is for students who are interested in food law. For several students, the Summit was their first chance to participate in a food law class.  These classes exposed students to the variety of food law topics and career opportunities that exist. For example, Nate presented on “Inequality and Agriculture,” while Susan spoke about “Food Law: What’s in the Name of a Product?”

Nate Rosenberg presents on inequality and agriculture
The Summit Students also heard a keynote address from a leader in the field, Ricardo Salvador, who is the Director of the Food and Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Then, students used the information they learned over the weekend, along with their prior knowledge, to brainstorm realistic solutions to some of the problems facing our food system.

The Summit was a momentous event for these students, as they begin to pursue careers as food law attorneys, professors, or perhaps even as future LL.M. in Agricultural and Food Law candidates.
The Summit would not have been possible without the generous support from the Charles M. Haar Food and Health Law and Policy Fund, the Lillian Goldman Charitable Trust, and the GRACE Communications Foundation.

Other photos from the Summit posted by Susan below-  with more found on the Food Law Student Network website.

Kelly Nuchols addressing the Summit audience



Friend and colleague, Emily Broad Leib, whose vision
created the Summit 
Jabari Brown, Univ. of Oregon Law (2017)
Executive Committee FLSN



Saturday, October 29, 2016

LL.M. Visiting Prof Receives Highest Honor at the AALA Annual Conference; Alumni Lead the Association

Congratulations to our dear friend and visiting professor, David Grahn.  Earlier this month, David received the Distinguished Service Award at the American Agricultural Law Association's 2016 Annual Symposium in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

The distinguished service award is given to a member of the AALA that demonstrates “sustained excellence” and a consistent "demonstration of dedication to furthering the development of agricultural law, strengthening the legal profession, increasing the size and influence of AALA, and fulfilling the law-related information needs of lawyers and citizens alike." It is the highest award to be bestowed on a member.

David teaches our Farm Policy & the Federal Budget course, a fast-paced condensed class that explains the impact of the budget on policy decisions.  He will be teaching this course for us next month.

David serves as the Associate General Counsel for International Affairs, Food Assistance, and Farm and Rural Programs in the Office of the General Counsel of the USDA. In 2011, he was awarded the Meritorious Presidential Rank Award for his service to the U.S. Government. He is a prior recipient of the AALA Excellence in Agriculture Award, a frequent presenter at the AALA Annual Educational Symposium and dedicated AALA member He is a Graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School and Carleton College in Minnesota.

LL.M. Alumni continue to play an important role in the leadership of the AALA.  Our Alumna, Beth Crocker is the out-going Past President of the AALA. She is pictured above, giving David his award.

Beth did an outstanding job as President-elect, planning the AALA conference in South Carolina last year and this year, running the AALA organization as its President.  Thank you, Beth.

The incoming President-Elect is another of our alumni, Jennifer Zwaggerman. We are delighted to also congratulate Jennie for her selection for this important role. We are confident that she will provide positive leadership to the association as she plans the next conference and then ascends to the position of President.

Alumnus Jeff Peterson continues to serve on the AALA Board of Directors, as does Beth Crocker who will serve on the Board as Past-President. Alumna Beth Rumley will join them, as she was appointed to serve out the remainder of Jennie Zwaggerman's term on the Board.  Congratulations to Beth Rumley, and our appreciation is extended to Jennie, Jeff, Beth, and Beth for their service.

A number of our alumni presented at the conference:

  • Susan Schneider: 2016 Food Law Update
  • Janie Hipp and Erin Shirl: American Indian Legal Issues in Food & Agriculture;
  • Alli Condra: Recent Changes in Food Law: Regulation, Litigation, and Legislative Update;
  • Alison Peck:  The Science and Law of Genetic Engineering; and, 
  • Andy Frame: Advising Food and Farm Start-ups.

And, our Visiting Professors David Grahn and Neil Hamilton each spoke. David delivered his 2016 Farm Policy Update.  Neil spoke on How Private Conservation and Sustainability Initiatives Impact Farmers.

We were once again proud of the leadership and professionalism shown by our alumni and professors. We are proud to play a significant role in the AALA.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Spring Schedule Announced






The University of Arkansas School of Law is proud to deliver an extensive curriculum of agricultural and food law classes each semester.

JD students from other law schools may be able to enroll in these courses, arranging for transfer credit back to their home institution. Enrollment is on a space-available basis, and a simple application process is required. There is no application fee, and Arkansas’ reasonable tuition rates apply.

Attorneys seeking additional expertise may be able to enroll in some of these courses without participating in the degree program. Enrollment is on a space-available basis, and a simple application process is required. CLE credit is available in some jurisdictions.

Contact Sarah Hiatt, LL.M. Program Administrator at sxh090@uark.edu to enroll. 

Traditional Semester Courses
Traditional courses meet each week for either the full semester or condensed to meet only half of the semester. Distance students conference into the class, participating from wherever they are located.
 

Agricultural Biotechnology
Martha Noble (via video conference from California) (1 credit)
10:30 - 12:10 Wednesday (second half of the semester only)
Study of the regulation of agricultural biotechnology, including the approval process for new technologies, the patenting of new products and technologies, and the restrictions associated with their use.

Environmental Regulation of Agriculture
Nathan Rosenberg (2 credits)
12:50 - 1:50 Tuesday & Thursday
Examination of some of the major federal environmental statutes applicable to agricultural operations with attention to current cases and controversies under those laws. The course also explores the regulatory authority and enforcement practices of the EPA and other agencies.

Intellectual Property in Food & Agric. Products
Uche Ewelukwa (1 credit)
10:30 - 12:30 (first half of the semester)
Introduction to Copyright Law, Trademarks Law and Patent Law as applied to agriculture and food, considering Trademark Law, such as Certification Marks (e.g. Idaho Potatoes), Geographical Indicators (e.g. Rooibos Tea; Grana Padano cheese), Trade Dress (e.g. whether the shape of an Easter chocolate bunny is protectable under trademark law) and issues from Copyright Law including copyright laws on food recipes as well as copyright laws on food labeling as well as issues involving Design Patent Law.

Regulated Markets in Agriculture
Nate Rosenberg (2 credits)
8:40 - 10:20 Tuesday
Introduction to the federal statutes and mechanisms designed to regulate the livestock and the fruit and vegetable industries: Marketing Orders, The Perishable Commodities Act, and the Packers and Stockyards Act; Review of administrative appeal opportunities through formal and informal adjudication.

Flipped Courses with Some Synchronous Classes

Flipped classes combine weekly guided study for students to do independently, with scheduled opportunities for class discussion lead by the course instructor. Students may participate in these discussions via videoconference or in person in the LL.M. Study. The amount of class time varies course to course.

Federal Regulation of Food Labeling
Satoko Kato (2 credits)
10:30 - 12:30 Tuesday (first half of the semester only)
Study of the federal laws regarding the labeling of food. The course includes the study of nutrition labeling, health claims, advertising issues, and efforts to impact public health through educational labeling. This course will meet for 100 minutes/week, but only for the first half of the semester. Student projects, video presentations and other guided instruction will be provided.

Federal Regulation of Food Safety
Satoko Kato (2 credits)     
10:30 - 12:30 Tuesday (second half of the semester only)

Study of efforts to promote food safety through federal regulation. The course will examine a variety of discreet topics including FSMA food safety provisions, “defect” standards, chemical residues, environmental pollution, antibiotic resistance, and new concerns about health and diet. This course will meet for 100 minutes/week, but only for the last half of the semester. Student projects, video presentations and other guided instruction will be provided.

Food Justice Law & Policy
Nicole Civita (via video conference from Vermont) (1 credit)
10:30 - 11:20 Thursday (first half of the semester; class will only meet 4-5 times)
Survey of the legal and policy issues raised by the food justice movement. Topics covered include food insecurity and poverty, public health concerns such as obesity, the economics of healthy eating, food deserts, and food waste. This course will only meet 4-5 times during the semester for synchronous discussion.

Condensed Courses
Condensed courses meet for 2-4 days, with 12-14 hours of intense instruction for 1 credit

Food Safety Litigation
Bill Marler/Denis Stearns (1 credit)
2-3 days in March TBD          
Examination of food borne illness litigation with an initial introduction to food product liability followed by the study of actual cases brought against food manufacturers

Legal Issues in Agricultural Land Tenure
Neil Hamilton (1 credit)          
2-3 days in April TBD
Legal issues regarding the sale of agricultural lands via mortgage and contract for deed; Sustainability and land tenure; Leasing issues; Farm transition and land tenure issues

Federal Farm Programs & Crop Insurance
Allen Olson (1 credit)
3-4 days in February TBD      
Overview of the major federal farm programs and the legal issues associated with participation; Overview of the crop insurance program and the roles of those involved Discussion of the legal issues that arise

Agriculture & Climate Change         
Nate Rosenberg (1 credit)
3-4 days in January; this course may be offered as a semi-condensed or half-semester class. If you are interested, please let us know your preferences.
Discussion of climate change and farming, including consideration of relevant farm practices, farm programs and policy issues, regulatory issues and possible litigation

Online Courses
Online courses are delivered primarily through guided self-paced student work based on a carefully designed learning pathway; there may be a few synchronous class meetings, but most contact with the professor will be individualized through email, video calls, and other forms of direct communication; these courses provide maximum scheduling flexibility.

Agricultural Cooperatives & Local Food Systems (1 credit)
Lauren Manning (Arkansas)
March 7 - April 28      
Introduction to the legal structure of a cooperative and examination of the recent use of the cooperative model in encouraging local and regional food systems.

Agricultural Labor Law (1 credit)
Amy Lowenthal (New York)
January 17 - March 3
Study of the legal, social, and economic issues that arise from the extensive use of migrant labor in U.S. agricultural operations. Topics include agricultural exemptions from labor laws, the Migrant & Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, and agriculture’s reliance on undocumented alien workers.

Farmed Animal Welfare Law & Policy (1 credit)
Pamela Vesilind (North Carolina)
January 17 - March 3
Examination of the legal issues involved in determining welfare standards for animals raised for food. In addition to introducing federal animal welfare and humane slaughter laws, state referenda, state law standards, and so-called “ag gag” laws are considered. 

Federal Nutrition Law & Policy (1 credit)
Erin Shirl (Arkansas)
March 7 - April 28
Study of federal nutrition policy, including the development of the federal nutrition standards, the framework for the food assistance programs, the federal school lunch program, and the government’s efforts to encourage healthy eating.

Introduction to Agricultural Income Tax (1 credit) 
Poppy Davis (California)
March 7 - April 28      
Overview of federal income tax law as applied to agricultural operations. This course de-mystifies agricultural taxation and explains the importance of these issues for anyone advising a farming operation.




Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Satoko Kato presents at the Arkansas Recycling Coalition Annual Conference


On September 20, 2016, Cameron Caja, the founder of Razorback Food Recovery at the University of Arkansas, and Satoko Kato, a visiting assistant professor at the UA School of Law, were invited to speak as panelists at the Arkansas Recycling Coalition’s 26th Annual Conference and Trade Show. Titled “Food Recovery Roundtable,” Satoko introduced the Food Recovery Project and gave a presentation on the legal aspects of food recovery, including an overview of the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act and Cameron delivered a presentation on the food programs on the University of Arkansas campus that are helping to fight food insecurity on campus.


The panel participants also included Bob Gedert, director of Austin Resource Recovery, City of Austin; Michelle Shope, Director of Food Souring and Logistics, Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance; and Stephen Sturdivant, environmental engineer, EPA Region 6, and was moderated by Brian Pugh of Fayetteville Solid Waste and Recycling and Melissa Terry of the University of Arkansas. The panelists’ presentation was followed by a Q&A discussion on food recovery and waste management.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

LL.M. Candidate Brandy McAllister and the Mac Farm

Note from Susan:

We have the most interesting attorneys in the LL.M. Program!

It was my pleasure to speak with distance candidate Brandy McAllister last week. In addition to taking classes toward her LL.M. degree, Brandy serves as Risk Management Services Counsel for the Association of Arkansas Counties in Little Rock, Arkansas. And, she is an attorney for the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund.  She just began the program this Fall, taking classes part-time by distance. 

After Brandy and I discussed her classes and research, our conversation turned to the farming operation that Brandy and her family have started, Mac Farm.  

Brandy reported that they started a homesteading project in February of 2013 with 15 chickens. Their flock is now up to 36 chickens including four roosters and 1 guinea hen.  They also have 3 milk goats, a bill goat and 1 pet pygmy goat.

They have started a small orchard with 8 fruit trees and have a 3200 square foot garden which includes medicinal herbs and perennial fruit plants (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries).

They currently get 15-24 eggs a day from the hens and a little over a half a gallon of milk a day from the goats. They sell the extra eggs and milk and occasionally sell farm-share baskets with extra vegetables from the garden. With careful planning, they are able to do a spring, summer and fall garden, with some plants that even carry over through the winter.  Brandy makes raw milk cheese about once a month with extra milk.

They have created their own brand of body care products, called Skin Snacks - based on the concept that what you put on your body should be just as good as what you eat. They sell mostly to friends and family and occasionally post items for sale at a local online farmer's market. ​

Thanks for telling us about your farm, Brandy. We are delighted to have another new farmer in the LL.M. Program. 







Thursday, September 22, 2016

Nicole Civita interviewed on "Your Call"



What Can You Do To Stop Food Waste


http://kalw.org/post/your-call-what-you-can-do-stop-food-waste#stream/0
What Can You Do To Stop Food Waste
LL.M. Affiliate Professor and Director of the Food Recovery Project at the University of Arkansas School of Law was a recently interviewed on "Your Call" a daily San Francisco (KALW) Public Radio show.  The topic was "What You Can Do To Stop Food Waste."  

Check out the episode on KALW's website.






Nicole Civita, Director, Food Recovery Project

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

From Last Year's Class: Nicole Cooks joins USDA

LL.M. Candidate Nicole Cook

Nicole Cook, an experienced attorney from Iowa, was in the LL.M. Program 2015-16, completing her class requirements with a Practicum over the summer.  She worked with the Good Food Institute. Through her Practicum, Nicole engaged in some fascinating legal research involving the potential regulatory issues involved in the development of alternative proteins.

Nicole will be moving to Washington, D.C. very soon, as she has accepted a position serving as a Senior Advisor in the Risk Management Agency (RMA) at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Nicole will be reporting directly to LL.M. Alumnus Brandon Willis, Administrator of the RMA.

Nicole reports that she is "excited for the opportunity to help continue the great work that USDA RMA has been doing and to meet more people and learn more about how the Federal government can help support American agriculture."

Congratulations, Nicole!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

From Last Year's Class: Mark Opansiuk

Over the next few weeks, we would like to provide updates on what our formers students are doing, and in particular, check in with the LL.M. students from the 2015-16 class.  We begin with Mark Opanasuik, a Fulbright Scholar and attorney from Ukraine.

As we reported earlier, Mark was selected to participate in the Edmund S. Muskie Summer Internship Program after he completed his classes. He worked with an agricultural law firm in Iowa, gaining valuable practice experience.

Then, at the end of August, it was time to head back to Ukraine. As you can see from the photo at Borispol airport in Kyiv, Ukraine, Mark's friends and family were delighted to welcome him back!

Mark Opanisuik & Halyna Mykhaliuk

Mark made it home in time to attend the annual Yalta European Strategy Conference (YES) in Kyiv. This conference provides an open platform to explore new ideas and exchange views on European, Ukrainian and global development. It brings together over 350 politicians, diplomats, statesmen, journalists, analysts and business leaders from more than 50 countries. At the conference, Mark was able to connect in person with Professor Halyna Mykhaliuk from the Kyiv-Mohyla University. Professor Mykhaliuk was a guest lecturer by video-conference in Professor Kelley's course last Spring, Introduction to Agricultural & Food Law in the EU. They are both pictured here at the conference.

On September 26, Mark will begin work in the legal department of Milkiland, an international diversified dairy business with its core operations in the CIS and EU. The
Milkiland Group is controlled by Kazakh, Polish, other EU, U.S. and Ukrainian investors through the Dutch public holding company Milkiland N.V., listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. Their production assets are located in Russia, Ukraine and Poland, with annual milk processing capacity exceeding 1 million tons. In July, they announced a new contract to export dry milk products produced in Ukrainian facilities to the People's Republic of China.

Mark will work on international corporate, commercial and finance projects in the legal department in Milkiland's Ukrainian office. Congratulations, Mark!



Thursday, September 15, 2016

LL.M. Alumnus Eric Strating: New Dutch Ambassador to Libya


We are delighted to congratulate our alumnus, Eric Strating. Eric was recently sworn in by King Willem-Alexander as the new Dutch Ambassador to Libya.

Eric and his wife, also our alumna, Henriette Strating are pictured here after the swearing in ceremony.

Eric and Henriette have just moved to Tunis where Eric will be based. He replaces Hans Sandee who is now Dutch Consul-General in Dubai.

Eric previously served as one of the heads of the Dutch foreign ministry’s North Africa and Middle East Department, and he has been shadowing Ambassador Sandee since his appointment was announced last December.

Congratulations, Eric and Henriette.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Handel Food Law, LLC Graduate Assistant: Jacob Kerksieck


LL.M. Candidate Jacob Kerksieck
We are proud to announce that Handel Food Law, LLC, a national practice with its virtual office in Bedminster, New Jersey is sponsoring a Graduate Assistantship in the LL.M. Program for Fall 2016. LL.M. Candidate Jacob Kerksieck was selected for this honor.

Handel Food Law was founded by LL.M. Alumna Lauren Handel, a nationally recognized food law attorney. Handel Food Law is specifically dedicated to food, beverage and farming businesses.

Our Graduate Assistantship Program provides for a limited number of private sponsorship opportunities with organizations and firms with particularly close ties to the LL.M. Program. Students are afforded the opportunity to work closely with professionals who are practicing agricultural and food law, gaining valuable experience and hands-on training.  Sponsors have the opportunity to work with one of our students, maintaining close ties to our Program and benefiting from the student's accomplishments.

A full tuition waiver and a monthly stipend accompany the Graduate Assistantship Award.  The student performs up to 20 hours of work per week during the semester.

Jacob holds a J.D. from the University of Arkansas School of Law and a Bachelor of Science in Business from the Sam M. Walton College of Business.  We thank Handel Food Law for their support of the LL.M. Program and for the mentoring they will provide to Jacob.  And, we congratulate Jacob for the award.


Friday, September 9, 2016

Law Firm of Northwest Arkansas: Graduate Assistant Jessica Fritts

LL.M. Candidate Jessica Fritts
We are proud to announce that The Law Group of Northwest Arkansas is once again sponsoring a Graduate Assistantship in the LL.M. Program for the 2016-17 academic year.  LL.M. Candidate Jessica Fritts was selected for this honor.

The Law Group of Northwest Arkansas is home to LL.M. Alumni KC Tucker and Kristy Boehler.  The Law Group has supported the LL.M. Program in many ways, sponsoring not only our Graduate Assistants, but sponsoring events at the law school as well.

The Law Group of Northwest Arkansas represents individuals and businesses in all areas of agricultural and food law "from farm to fork."

Our Graduate Assistantship Program provides for a limited number of private sponsorship opportunities with organizations and firms with particularly close ties to the LL.M. Program. Students are afforded the opportunity to work closely with professionals who are practicing agricultural and food law, gaining valuable experience and hands-on training.  Sponsors have the opportunity to work with one of our students, maintaining close ties to our Program and benefiting from the student's accomplishments.

A full tuition waiver and a monthly stipend accompany the Graduate Assistantship Award.  The student performs up to 20 hours of work per week during the semester.

Jessica recently completed a J.D. from the University of Arkansas School of Law where she served as a law clerk with the Law Group. Jessica holds a B.S. in Agriculture, Food & Life Sciences majoring in Poultry Science and Agricultural Business from the University of Arkansas.

We thank the The Law Group of Northwest Arkansas for their support of the LL.M. Program and for the mentoring they will provide to Jessica.  And, we congratulate Jessica for the award.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Drake Agriultural Law Center Sponsors Graduate Assistant: Kelly Nuckolls

LL.M. Candidate Kelly Nuckolls
We are proud to announce that the Drake University Agricultural Law Center is sponsoring a Graduate Assistantship in the LL.M. Program for the 2016-17 academic year. LL.M. Candidate Kelly Nuckolls was selected for this honor.

The LL.M. Program has had a close relationship with the Drake Agricultural Law Center for many years, and its Director, Professor Neil Hamilton serves as a Visiting Professor in our Program, teaching a course each semester. 

The Graduate Assistantship Program provides for a limited number of sponsorship opportunities with organizations and firms with particularly close ties to the LL.M. Program. Students are afforded the opportunity to work closely with professionals who are practicing agricultural and food law, gaining valuable experience and hands-on training.  Sponsors have the opportunity to work with one of our students, maintaining close ties to our Program and benefiting from the student's accomplishments.

A full tuition waiver and a monthly stipend accompany the Graduate Assistantship Award.  The student performs up to 20 hours of work per week during the semester.

Kelly is a recent graduate of Drake University School of Law, where she studied under Professor Hamilton. She served as Executive Editor to the Drake Journal of Agricultural Law (2015-2016), as a Legal Intern at the Drake Agricultural Law Center (working with the Buy Fresh, Buy Local initiative); as a Policy Intern at the Iowa Food Bank Association, and as a Legal Intern with the Harvard Food Law & Policy Clinic. The assistantship award is a direct result of Kelly's excellent work and of her academic achievements.

We thank Professor Hamilton, the Drake University Agricultural Law Center and Drake University Law School for their support of the LL.M. Program.  And, we congratulate Kelly for the award. 


Drake Agriultural Law Center Sponsors Graduate Assistant: Kelley Nuckolls

LL.M. Candidate Kelly Nuckolls
We are proud to announce that the Drake University Agricultural Law Center is sponsoring a Graduate Assistantship in the LL.M. Program for the 2016-17 academic year. LL.M. Candidate Kelly Nuckolls was selected for this honor.

The LL.M. Program has had a close relationship with the Drake Agricultural Law Center for many years, and its Director, Professor Neil Hamilton serves as a Visiting Professor in our Program, teaching a course each semester. 

The Graduate Assistantship Program provides for a limited number of sponsorship opportunities with organizations and firms with particularly close ties to the LL.M. Program. Students are afforded the opportunity to work closely with professionals who are practicing agricultural and food law, gaining valuable experience and hands-on training.  Sponsors have the opportunity to work with one of our students, maintaining close ties to our Program and benefiting from the student's accomplishments.

A full tuition waiver and a monthly stipend accompany the Graduate Assistantship Award.  The student performs up to 20 hours of work per week during the semester.

Kelly is a recent graduate of Drake University School of Law, where she studied under Professor Hamilton. She served as Executive Editor to the Drake Journal of Agricultural Law (2015-2016), as a Legal Intern at the Drake Agricultural Law Center (working with the Buy Fresh, Buy Local initiative); as a Policy Intern at the Iowa Food Bank Association, and as a Legal Intern with the Harvard Food Law & Policy Clinic. The assistantship award is a direct result of Kelly's excellent work and of her academic achievements.

We thank Professor Hamilton, the Drake University Agricultural Law Center and Drake University Law School for their support of the LL.M. Program.  And, we congratulate Kelly for the award. 


Monday, September 5, 2016

New Edition of Food, Farming & Sustainability Published

The second edition of the book Food Farming & Sustainability: Readings in Agricultural Law by Susan Schneider was just released in August 2016 by Carolina Press.

This edition provides a significant update to the first edition, introducing recent agricultural law developments including the 2014 Farm Bill and the 2012 Census of Agriculture, and adding a new chapter devoted specifically to food safety.  Like the first edition, the book uses current events to explore the special treatment of agriculture under the law and seeks to promote constructive dialogue about our food system.

The book has been popular with agricultural law professors across the country and also with those seeking to better understand agricultural law issues.

Professor Schneider was delighted to have this edition feature photos of her farm in Minnesota on the cover - the dairy barn built by her Grandfather in 1920 is on the front and a current shot of a haying operation on the farm is on the back.

The book is supported by a website at www.foodfarmingsustainability.com that was initially created to supplement the first edition.  Professor Schneider is now updating the website to provide direct access and links to many current agricultural law resources that are cited in the book.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Acting USDA Deputy Secretary Michael Scuse visits LL.M. Program

Earlier this month, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the department’s Fall Forum series to highlight the progress made on the top issues facing the future of agriculture and set the stage for the next administration to continue to support a strong future for American agriculture.

On Monday, Acting Deputy Secretary Michael Scuse delivered keynote remarks to kick off the USDA New Farmers and Land Tenure Fall Forum at the School of Law.

The visit included a day of panel discussions, remarks and audience feedback on the next generation of agriculture and land tenure issues. This was the first in the USDA series, which will each be hosted in partnership with leading universities across the country and focus on a range of current agricultural issues.

Three of our LL.M. alumni were selected by USDA to address the forum as panel members.  Janie Hipp, Director of the Indigenous Food & Agriculture Initiative at the School of Law; Allen Olson, practicing attorney and adjunct professor in the LL.M. Program; and Monica Rainge, Director of Land Retention and Advocacy for the Federation of Southern Cooperatives / Land Assistance Fund

We were particularly pleased that Secretary Scuse was able to meet personally with LL.M. Candidates during his visit at a private Q&A session held in our LL.M. Study. 

A number of our Alumni currently serve in positions throughout USDA, and Deputy Secretary Scuse thanked us for our work in preparing attorneys for specialized service in agricultural and food law. We were especially pleased to hear Secretary Scuse recognize the excellent work of two particular alumni that he has worked directly with -  Ben Thomas, now Acting Deputy Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs at USDA and Brandon Willis, Administrator for USDA Risk Management Agency.


Appreciation is expressed to staff at The University of Arkansas School of Law and Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences who partnered to host the USDA New Farmers and Land Tenure Fall Forum.

And, a special shout out to our UA alumna and Arkansas native, Ashlee Nicole Johnson, who serves as Deputy Scuse's Chief of Staff in Washington, D.C.

Monday, August 29, 2016

LL.M. Welcome Party at Amy White's

We enjoyed a great welcome party for our incoming LL.M. class, hosted at the home of Amy White. Amy is one of our alumni, graduating from the Program in 1999. She now works as Food Safety and Health Manager for Labeling Compliance at Walmart and is active in the Fayetteville community.

The party included members of our incoming class - both our face-to-face students and distance candidates  that were able to be in Fayetteville with us - LL.M alumni on hand to welcome the new students, friends and family, and law school faculty. It was a lovely evening for all.







We thank Amy for her gracious hospitality and thank Dean Stacy Leeds and the University of Arkansas School of Law for sponsoring the event. A special shout out to Michele Payne who handled all of the catering and helped to host.

As a special note, we were pleased to initiate Amy's newly  renovated "she-shed" as a cocktail lounge.  Thanks to all for a great start to the year!




Thursday, August 25, 2016

Our Year Begins:

Earlier this week, we introduced our new candidates to the LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law.  We began with a short orientation session where we discussed our course of study, LL.M. Program degree requirements, and our approach to creating an innovative learning environment that nurtures and encourages our candidates to succeed.

Professor Neil Hamilton
After orientation, we were delighted to once again welcome Professor Neil Hamilton back to Arkansas to teach our first Fall semester course - one of our favorite traditions in the LL.M. Program. An Introduction to the Law of Food & Agriculture provides a thought-provoking overview of many of the issues that we will be exploring throughout the year.

Professor Hamilton serves as the Dwight D. Opperman Chair of Law and Professor of Law at Drake University Law School and as the Director of the Drake Agricultural Law Center. His 30-plus years of leadership in agricultural law in the U.S. and abroad allow him to bring unique perspectives to his teaching. We are always delighted to have him with us.

As usual, the class took a field trip to the Fayetteville Farmer's Market, and once again had an opportunity to meet and talk with Market Vendor Manager, Teresa Mauer.  Teresa took time out of her very busy morning to provide information to our class and to answer questions.  She was very helpful, and it put our studies into good context. A shout out "thank you" to Teresa!

Special thanks to our own Perry Brown for sharing some lovely shots from the market. And of course, our thanks to Professor Hamilton.

Professor Hamilton enjoying an evening out in Fayetteville






Monday, August 22, 2016

Welcome New LL.M. Candidates

Dean Stacy Leeds and LL.M. Director Susan Schneider
We are delighted to once again welcome an accomplished group of attorney's to the LL.M. Program.

Dean Stacy Leeds joined us during our orientation program this week, and in her welcome message, Dean Leeds emphasized the longstanding role that the LL.M. Program has played in preparing future leaders in agricultural and food law, and its current role as a pioneer of legal distance education.

Included in our LL.M class are 18 candidates composed of new and returning students, enrolled full and part time, participating both by distance and face-to-face in Fayetteville. They are a fantastic group, and we are delighted to have them with us.  Their enthusiasm for agricultural and food law studies is inspiring.


LL.M. Candidates
Our 6 new face-to-face LL.M. candidates come from Arkansas, Iowa, Texas and Saudi Arabia. Our 12 distance candidates join us from Arkansas, Alabama, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Washington. Ten are experienced attorneys, and two are recent graduates.

In addition to our degree candidates, we have two practicing attorney's and one law student from another law school enrolled in our regular semester classes for transfer credit, and we have ten University of Arkansas JD Candidates taking classes as well.

Our degree candidates include:

Face to Face Candidates

Saad Alotaibi (Saudi Arabia)
LL.B. Majmaah University

Kaelin Bowling (Fayetteville, AR)
J.D., University of Arkansas School of Law

Dinah Brothers (Paducah, TX)
J.D., University of Tulsa

Jessica Fritts (Huntsville, AR)
J.D., University of Arkansas School of Law

Jacob Kerksieck (Fayetteville, AR)
J.D., University of Arkansas School of Law

Kelly Nuckolls (Des Moines, IA)
J.D., Drake Law School

Newly Admitted Distance Candidates

Catherine Baker (Fayetteville, AR)
J.D., University of Arkansas School of Law

Brenda Hall-Busch (Philadelphia, PA)
J.D, New York Law School
Contract Counsel

Kelsey Unruh Davis (Tuscaloosa, AL)
J.D., University of Alabama School of Law
Judicial Clerk

Katherine Zewas Graham (Minneapolis, MN)
J.D., William Mitchell College of Law
Associate Attorney, Maser, Amundson, Boggio & Hendricks, PA

Alexia Kulwiec (Madison, WI)
J.D., Chicago Kent College of Law
Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin Extension

Brandy McAllister (Little Rock, AR)
J.D., UALR Bowen Law
Risk Management Services Counsel, Association of Arkansas Counties
Attorney, Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund

Toni Stanger-McLaughlin (Spokane, WA)
J.D., University of North Dakota School of Law
Director of Business & Infrastructure Development, Sovereign Development Corporation
Tribal Policy & Land Use Consultant, Indigenous Food & Agriculture Initiative

Returning Distance Candidates

Michael Hoffman (Aspen, Colorado)
J.D., University of Denver
Attorney, E. Michael Hoffman P.C.

Brian Mathison (West Point, NY)
J.D., Maurer School of Law, Indiana University – Bloomington
Instructor, United States Military Academy, West Point

Dave Nezzie (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
J.D., The University of New Mexico

Edward Peterson (Warner Robins, Georgia)
J.D., Capitol University Law School
Solo Practitioner, Warner Robins, GA

Monday, August 8, 2016

New Food Recovery Publication: Leftovers for Livestock: A Legal Guide

In the United States, approximately 63 million tons of food is wasted every year. The natural resources used to produce that food, including water, fertilizer, and land, are also lost as a consequence of this alarming amount of waste.

This wasted food typically ends up in landfills where, as it breaks down, it leads to significant emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas with 56 times the atmospheric warming power of carbon dioxide.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in its Food Recovery Hierarchy, prioritizes recovery opportunities for reducing food waste. According to the hierarchy, wholesome, edible food should be kept in the human food supply if possible. When that is not possible, it may be used as a sustainable feed or feed supplement for animals. Given the significant environmental impact of food in landfills, many businesses, nonprofit organizations, and policymakers have seen a renewed interest in the use of food scraps as animal feed.

A new publication from the University of Arkansas School of Law Food Recovery Project and the Harvard Food Law & Policy Clinic is now available to assist: 

 

Leftovers for Livestock: A Legal Guide for Using Excess Food as Animal Feed


In “Leftovers for Livestock: A Legal Guide for Using Excess Food as Animal Feed,” the University of Arkansas Food Recovery Project and Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic provide the first-ever catalogue of the different state regulations and requirements for feeding food scraps to animals. Leftovers for Livestock serves as an important resource for businesses with food scraps that could go to animals, livestock farmers, and other interested stakeholders.

Leftovers for Livestock also describes the federal and state laws and regulations regarding the practice of feeding food scraps to animals, and offers useful suggestions for both generators of food scraps and animal feeding operations. The federal government creates a floor, or base level of regulations for the feeding of food scraps to animals; however, states can apply more strict regulations than the federal baseline.  Indeed, forty-eight states plus Puerto Rico more tightly regulate the feeding of food scraps to animals; some even have outright bans on the use of certain types of food scraps as animal feed.For example, under federal law food scraps can generally be fed to swine, so long as any food scraps containing meat or animal products are heat-treated (heated at a boiling temperature of 212 degrees Fahrenheit/100 degrees Celsius). However, fifteen states ban the feeding of swine with food scraps that contain any animal parts or material, and nine of these states even ban the feeding of any vegetable waste to swine. States also have different license and heat-treatment requirements, with twelve states going above the federal rules and requiring heat-treating of vegetable-based food scraps before they are fed to swine.

The patchwork of state and federal law can appear daunting to those hoping to feed food scraps to animals. Leftovers for Livestock will help both businesses with food scraps to donate or sell, and livestock farms hoping to feed their animals more sustainably, to navigate this complex framework by providing a guide to both federal laws and the detailed regulations in every state.

Using food scraps for animal feed can help reduce the amount of food scraps being sent to landfills while also helping businesses save money on garbage disposal costs, helping farmers save money on feed costs, and decreasing the amount of land and natural resources used to grow the grains, soy and corn currently used for animal feed. This is a win for humans, animals, and the planet.

The LL.M. Program is proud of those associated with our Program for their work researching the law and drafting this excellent new publication along with our partners at Harvard:

Nicole Civita, Affiliated Faculty and Director of the Food Recovery Project
Christina Rice, LL.M. anticipated (2016)
Tiffany Alvoid, LL.M. anticipated (2016)

Visit the Food Recovery Project website for links to other resources on food recovery and the law, including the widely cited Food Recovery: A Legal Guide.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Agricultural & Food Law Opportunities

The LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law has a few places remaining in our face-to-face and distance tracks for Fall 2016, for full or part-time enrollment. With an expanded curriculum and a deep base of alumni relationships, our Program prepares attorneys for a career in agricultural and food law. Visit our website and our blog for additional information.

We have several remaining Graduate Assistantships (GAs) to award. GAs are only available to full time LL.M. candidates who enroll in our face-to-face program. These GAs provide for a full tuition waiver plus a $5,000 stipend per semester in exchange for part-time work designed to enhance the student's education and build their professional reputation. While awards may shift to accommodate the expertise of applicants, GA placements are likely to include:
  • An opportunity to work with firms practicing food law, including one placement with our alumna, Lauren Handel, Handel Food Law
General law school GAs may also be available and include 
  • An opportunity to work with Accelerated JD candidates from foreign jurisdictions, assisting them with their transition to a U.S. law school setting;  
  • An opportunity to teach a Pre-Law Political Science class that introduces undergraduates to basic elements of our legal system and encourages them to explore a legal education:
  • An opportunity to teach an Upper Level Legal Writing class that focuses on Civil Pre-Trial documents (opportunity limited to attorneys with practice experience and/or LRW teaching experience);
    Interested attorneys and graduating 3Ls should complete the LL.M. application and indicate their interest in one or more of the GA opportunities.  Awards are highly competitive. Contact us for additional information at LLM@uark.edu or call (479) 575-3706.
     
    It is always the goal of the LL.M. Program to attract candidates that reflect the rich racial, cultural, ethnic, and geographic diversity of a global food system, expanding the reach and resources to all who seek to promote food justice.

    Monday, July 18, 2016

    Nicole Civita and Food Recovery Project quoted extensivly in Huffington Post article

    Affiliate Professor of Law and Director of the Food Recovery Project Nicole Civita is featured heavily in an article published today in the Huffington Post. The article, titled Restaurants Officially Have No Excuse Not To Donate Leftover Food. Many restaurants say they’re scared of being sued. Here’s why that’s garbage focuses on the amount of food waste produced by restaurants, and the misconception that food donation may put owners at increased risk. As the article states, "A single restaurant in the U.S. wastes about 100,000 pounds of a year, according to the Green Restaurant Association, making them auspicious donors for hunger relief groups. But many restaurants are reluctant to give away their edible leftovers, citing fears of getting sued."

    For more on the Food Recovery Project and to download a free copy of Food Recovery: a Legal Guide, visit us at law.uark.edu/llm.





    Monday, July 11, 2016

    LL.M. Candidate Lauren Manning who helped create envisioning.io/ZeroHunger to be presented to UN today

    We're pleased to report that LL.M. Candidate Lauren Manning is in Munich today where she will be presenting an online resource she helped create envisioning.io/ZeroHunger.


    The United Nations World Food Program event taking place in Munich on July 11 will focus on identifying technologies and policies that can promote food security in both developing and developed nations. During the LL.M. program, Lauren completed numerous courses that involved an examination of food security, including Right to Food and Business Human Rights. There are many legal issues at the intersection of technology and food security, such as ensuring that contract terms for technology licensing rights are fair to farmers, especially small scale farmers. Also, there are legal issues surrounding privacy rights in the data sector as well as policy-based issues surrounding various farming methodologies, i.e., organic versus conventional. Recently, Lauren was selected as the 2016 winner for George Washington Law School’s 2016 Human Rights Essay award. Her paper explored issues related to food security in the context of extractive mining in Greenland.


    We are proud of her many accomplishments.

    Thursday, June 30, 2016

    Fall Schedule Announced

    We are pleased to offer a full curriculum of specialized LL.M. courses each semester. For Fall 2016, we will be offering our usual core courses, plus an exciting mix of new classes that address some of the most compelling new issues in agricultural and food law today. Contact us at llm@uark.edu or 479-575-3706 for more information.
     

    Food Law & Policy
    Susan Schneider
    2 credit full-semester course
    Wednesday, 10:00 – 11:40 a.m.

    An introduction to the network of laws that govern our food system. An overview of regulation by both the Food & Drug Administration and the USDA is provided. Policy considerations are discussed in light of current issues. 

    Agriculture & the Environment
    Christopher Kelley
    2 credit full-semester course
    Thursday, 9:00 – 10:40 a.m.

    Agriculture is increasingly criticized for its impact on the environment. This course examines the tensions between the desire to produce food and fiber efficiently and concern for sustainability and the protection of natural resources. 

    Food, Farming & Sustainability (Survey of Agricultural Law)
    Susan Schneider
    2 credit full-semester course
    Friday, 10:00 – 11:40 a.m.

    This course provides a survey of the complex legal topics that make up the body of agricultural and food law focusing on current issues of significance. 
     
    The Right to Food
    Uche Ewelukwa
    1 credit half-semester course
    Tuesday, Thursday 11:00 – 11:50 a.m.

    This course will provide an overview of the historical development of the right to food; evaluate the rights, obligations and responsibilities of rights-holders and duty-bearers of the right to food; and examine legal and non-legal mechanisms that are increasingly used to adjudicate the right to food. 

    Business, Human Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility in the Food/Ag Sector
    Uche Ewelukwa
    1 credit half-semester course
    Tuesday, Thursday 11:00 – 11:50 a.m.

    The course explores the business-human rights nexus with a particular focus on the food and agricultural sector and on case studies from around the world. The course introduces students to the linkages between business and human rights from a variety of (legal, regulatory, and policy) perspectives.  

    Specialized Legal Research and Writing
    Christopher Kelley
    1 credit full-semester course
    Tuesday, 10:00 – 10:50 a.m.

    Legal writing skill development, including training in plain-English legal writing, electronic research training, and publication strategies. This course will assist students in planning to meet the LL.M. writing requirement.


    Urban Agriculture Law & Policy
    Nicole Civita
    1 credit half semester distance course
    Thursday, 3:40 – 5:00 p.m. (beginning Sept. 22 and concluding Nov. 3)

    Study of the legal issues raised by the rising interest in urban agricultural activities. Topics of study include land use and zoning issues, farmers market issues, and legal issues associated with community-sponsored agriculture. 

    An Introduction to the Law of Food & Agriculture
    Neil Hamilton
    1 credit condensed course
    Scheduled for Aug. 17- 19, 2016

    Introductory course that provides an overview of the legal and policy issues presented by the production of food and fiber, including a discussion of structural changes in agriculture, sustainability issues, and trends in consumer interest.


    Agricultural Policy & the Federal Budget
    David Grahn
    1 credit condensed course
    Scheduled for Nov. 9 – 11, 2016 (tentative)

    Study of the impact of the Office of Management and Budget and the cost scoring system on federal agricultural policy making in Washington, D.C. Current farm policy issues are discussed within the context of budgetary constraints and pressures. 


    Independent Research in Agricultural & Food Law
     (1-2 credits)

    Independent research in agricultural and food law conducted under the supervision of a faculty member. 

    Advanced Legal Research & Writing

     (1 credit independent writing project; satisfies the legal writing requirement; grade based on final written product)

    Research in a specialized area of agricultural or food law and development of a paper that demonstrates rigorous legal analysis and quality legal writing.